The race that left me lost for words…
London Marathon- wow! It absolutely IS all it’s cracked up to be. I have never run a race where I actually had no respite for my ears for 43.3km. I thought New York and Tokyo would be hard to beat but Londoners smashed all other races out of the ball park.
The route of the marathon is largely flat and fast and from the moment you leave Blackheath the crowds are waiting to call out your name. By crowds I’m taking 6 deep at least! This year marked the 110th anniversary of when the marathon became a distance of 42.195km here on the streets of London. The Queen opened the marathon to commemorate the event.
I was lucky enough to be in the first wave which really set me up for a phenomenal race. My training had gone really well and I was rested, fuelled and ready to go. The organisation was second to none and I was able to easily use toilets and relax in the sun while I waited to take off. The sun was shining and it was 20 degrees when we left the start line at 10am. As a Queenslander the heat didn’t bother me initially because it was what I’m used to, but unfortunately for so many locals it really took its toll early on. It turned out to be the hottest London marathon on record, and I felt for the paramedics who simply couldn’t keep up as so many people collapsed out on course. It was the worst I’ve ever seen in a marathon and it brought me back to the Commonwealth Games last weekend. It’s really hard to know what to do when people are just dropping around you and it’s quite a heart wrenching experience.
I was lucky enough to be having my dream run. I felt great. I was fresh and my pace was very comfortable. I thought this is it. This is finally my time. My moment was short lived when around half way the nausea set in and from there on in I couldn’t take any fluid or gels. It was then very tough going because with no water the heat started to mess with me. I’d take a the tinniest sips I could and try to nibble on the corner of a chomp and my stomach would churn. That’s just how it goes I guess and it’s time to move on and be thankful that I finished.
The other very very strange thing that happened out on course was that a truck came out of no where onto the marathon path. It was a brief moment of panic for me because I honestly thought it might be a terrorist attack. It was a massive truck and it took up the entire path. We all had to stop. There was a lot of confusion and I backed away in case it started to reverse over us. I eventually went into the crowds to get around it. I still have absolutely no idea what happened and why and I’ve spent a long time trying to see if it made the papers. It was the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me in a race.
And so I went on shuffling and counting down each km. I thought about my many inspiring friends who can’t run and I promised them then and there I would finish this for them. I thought about my daughter Lucy’s face when she’s pushing herself to finish Parkrun and I knew I couldn’t let her down. I thought about all the hundreds of messages I had before the race and I knew so many were tracking me, and it was for you that I kept pushing through those pain barriers. I won’t ever let you down and no matter how much it hurts I’ll be crossing that line for each of you. Finally, the gates of Buckingham Palace were on my left and I turned down The Mall with the British flags lining me on both sides. This is the moment where it’s all worth it. The time on the clock means nothing because this moment means everything.
Running is such a privilege. I am so blessed to have an amazing husband that supports my crazy adventures. I have an incredible coach in Jodie who believes in me and makes me work hard. And finally I have all of you who I know no matter what, are always so proud of what I achieve even if it’s ordinary.
Thank you so much for always believing in me. I can’t wait for the next adventure!